Saturday, June 30, 2007

Green Mountain College

Getting to Goddard was as much fun as leaving.

First stop was East Montpelier, where a left turn at an intersection took me through Route 2 toward the College.

The entry to the College is easily missed, with a forest green sign hidden behind lots of lush greenery. Wind down the small road and take another left to enter the grounds.

The College stretches across acres of nearly primitive foliage with dirt trails leading off the parking lot to a couple of halls and a collection of dorms.

I was met in the parking lot by a native Vermonter who worked at Goddard. He immediately carried my luggage to my assigned room at Kilpatrick dorm and then gave me a walking tour of the grounds.

An opening "mixer" had already begun in what my guide called the old Martin home. Somehow, the Martin's exchanged title with Goddard in the 1950s, and Goddard College came into being. (All history is based on my guide's tour remarks. It may or may not be correct.)

The panoramic view of the Martin house shows its impressive granite and slate fence. Lots of that at Goddard. A close-up shot details the fence, not quite Frost's mending wall, but definitely a massive wall of rock.
The wall of heavy rock leads upward to the "formal gardens," which became my favorite spot. Bacchynalian figures decorate the steps, and a fountain flowed sporadically into square clefts.

A "gardener's house" is decorated with the head of Dionysus and each corner topped with animal statuary, including a rabbit and a squirrel.

At some point, the gods of Goddard looked down upon the mortals and decided that Daedalus and his maze needed remembering, so a replica was built.

The brown building behind the garden maze is the far end of Kilpatrick Hall. Apparently this dorm is assigned to "newbies" nestled as it is within the heart of the College.

The significance of the maze adjoining this dorm can't be underscored enough.

Readings and presentations were held in the Haybarn, aka the sauna, where two small fans were utilized as cooling agents for the packed and sweating house. Temperatures in Vermont in June reach into the 90s. The round dome of the famous Clockhouse can be seen in the middle of this photo; Kilpatrick dorm is on the far left.

Speaking of the dorm, here's a shot of the interior of my room, shared with an assigned roomie in typical camp fashion. One housekeeper was responsible for maintaining Kilpatrick and several other large surrounding buildings. The room wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't reek of fresh paint, and if I'd brought a fan to escape the paint fumes and the oppressive heat. Of course, if the mattress were a little firmer, then my pinched nerve might not have kicked up. But these are the accepted hardships of a residency at Goddard.

A long building housed both the student help center, a small computer lab, a small gift shop, and a large cafeteria. Meals included several mega-sized thermoses of Green Mountain coffee, decaf & regular, tea, soda and juices, a selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees, desserts, salads and breads. This was one area where Goddard gets my congratulations. The food was tasty, the coffee always hot and available and the brownies yummy.

Prices in the gift shop were very reasonable but I'd hoped for a larger selection of poetry. Most folks who staffed these support areas were friendly, mellow, helpful and nonintrusive.

This view shows the open door leading to Kilpatrick and the Studies building running parallel to it on the left. The building in the background housed the cafeteria, gift shop, help and bulletin board area, and computer lab.

Finally, saying goodbye from the sky...

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